Months after a hurricane has passed, thousands of families still battle to recover and restore their lives to what it was before the tragedy struck. With hurricane season being a reality for all South Florida residents, it is important to know how to protect communities by building structures that are more likely to withstand the storm. An important element of a strong structure is the roof. There is no denying it, quality roofing can greatly influence your ability to withstand a hurricane. Over the years, the Florida Building Codes have changed to respond to the challenges brought by hurricanes. Here we take a look at what hurricane roofing codes are and how they affect you.
Why Do We Have The Florida Building Hurricane Codes?
The Florida Building Codes (FBC) are administered by the Florida Building Commission. According to section 101.4.2 of the FBC, it applies to almost every aspect of public and private buildings and structures. The FBC regulates how buildings and structures are constructed, modified, maintained and even demolished. The FBC is based on the International Building Code, which is used in the United States. Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the state of Florida has been divided into different wind zones. The FBC created ‘High Velocity Hurricane Zone’ and set out hurricane provisions specifically for Florida. Areas where wind speeds exceed 120mph or are greater than 110mph within close proximity to the coast -1 mile to be exact- requires extra hurricane protection against wind-born debris. According to the FBC, South Florida has the strictest building regulations, which can be difficult to navigate without a roofing expert by your side.
What Are The FBC Roofing Regulations?
Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 of the FBC regulates rooftop assemblies, structure, and design. When building your roof, it is important to make sure that your roofing contractor is familiar with the codes and constructs a roof that complies with these sections.
Chapter 15 of the FBC deals specifically with roof assemblies and rooftop structures. The chapter focuses on protective and performance measures for you roof.
- Section 1503 starts by making provision for weather protection and focuses on rain. It specifies which materials can be used to cover your roof and which are appropriate for sealing it too. It further sets out drainage requirements and how drains and scuppers should be used appropriately.
- Section 1504 sets out performance requirements that all roofs are to meet. According to the section, different roofing materials like asphalt shingles, concrete and clay tiles, must all be designed to have a degree of wind resistance. It also requires these roofing materials be tested by way of overturning resistance and wind tunnel testing.
- Section 1514 prescribes clear roof construction requirements for areas like South Florida that are classified as High Velocity Hurricane Zones. The provisions include specifications for materials, slope requirements and even roofing applications.
Chapter 16 of the FBC is to be read with the provisions of Chapter 15. This is because Chapter 16 sets out structural design requirements. It deals with construction specifications like stability and load. Many of the provisions in Chapter 15 prescribe the way certain materials are to be used, all of these specifications need to be implemented through design.
Finding a roofing expert in your area is an important part of building a home that stands the test of time. Different areas have different safety regulations. Finding a roofer that is familiar with your area and the requirements will not only save you money in the long term, but could also keep your family safe. Contact AABCO Roofing today to find out if your roof is hurricane season ready.